‘Herd immunity’ a risky strategy to combat Covid-19, says CSIR

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on May 31, 2020 Published on May 31, 2020

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Herd immunity as a strategy to combat Covid-19 in the country is a huge risk, according to the Director-General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Shekhar Mande, media reports said.

Herd immunity is a natural process wherein a large percentage of the population, approximately 70 to 80 per cent, is exposed to the Covid-19 virus and acquires immunity. This is either because they have recovered or through vaccination.

This could help curb the spread of the disease, as there would be a lack of carriers for the virus once the majority of the population has antibodies against the virus and are immune.

The report, quoting Mande said, the strategy is “too large a risk.". Countries can mitigate the risks of the pandemic and curb the spread of infection with interventions.

CSIR India’s official Twitter account retweeted a similar report with the caption, “#Herdimmunity as #COVID19 strategy risky, countries must make timely interventions: @DGCSIRIndia.”

Mande also warned that there could potentially be a second wave of the virus in India even if infections go down and people must be prepared for it.

The CSIR has adopted a five-pronged approach to combat the pandemic. This includes “surveillance, diagnostic, intervention through the development of new therapies, hospital assistive devices and supply chain model," the report said.

India, on Sunday, saw its biggest spike in Covid-19 cases, with 8,380 new infections reported in the last 24 hours. This takes the total number of cases in the country to 1,82,143, while the death toll has risen to 5,164, according to the Health Ministry.

The Ministry of Home Affairs’ latest lockdown guidelines, released on Saturday, include fewer restrictions and opening of religious places, hotels and restaurants in a phased outside containment zones starting June 8.

Published on May 31, 2020
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